Television’s Moment: Sitcom Audiences and the Sixties Cultural Revolution

Television was one of the forces shaping the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, when a blockbuster TV series could reach up to a third of a country’s population. This book explores television’s impact on social change by comparing three sitcoms and their audiences. The shows in focus – Till Death Us Do Part in Britain, All in the Family in the United States, and One Heart and One Soul in West Germany – centered on a bigoted anti-hero and his family. Between 1966 and 1979 they saturated popular culture, and managed to accelerate as well as deradicalize value changes and collective attitudes regarding gender roles, sexuality, religion, and race.

Christina von Hodenberg is Professor of History at Queen Mary, University of London. She has taught at Berkeley and Freiburg and received a Humboldt Research Award in 2014. Her previous books include Konsens und Krise: Eine Geschichte der westdeutschen Medienöffentlichkeit, 1945 bis 1973 (Wallstein 2006) and Wo ‘1968’ liegt: Reform und Revolte in der Geschichte der Bundesrepublik (co-edited with Detlef Siegfried, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht 2006).

 

Image courtesy of interviewee

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